Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: Birmingham: Photo 15
One more church, before we try something different. This is Augustus Pugin's St. Chad's Cathedral, from 1840. Foster calls it a "landmark in Gothic Revival" (p. 47), and if it looks austere that may be because the budget was limited to 20,000 pounds. This was the first Catholic cathedral built in England since the Reformation. Not that Pugin especially wanted it here in Birmingham, which he called "that most detestable of detestable places." If only he could see the arterial road that now runs in front of his church. It was the work of Charles Manzoni, Birmingham's city engineer and a no-nonsense guy. "I have never been very certain," Manzoni wrote just after World War II, "as to the value of tangible links with the past. They are often more sentimental than valuable.... As for future generations, I think they will be better occupied by applying their thoughts and energies to forging ahead, rather than looking backward."
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